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Ananda Icons | Dailynews.lk - Sri Lanka

Ananda an inspiration for all Sri Lankans

We remodeled the Navy structure to nail down the Tigers' strength at sea. We invented three modes, innovation, improvisation and ingenuity, to lift the spirit of the Navy. We introduced the 'small boats' concept. The Navy's engineers worked day and night to breathe life to the small boats. The small boats, though low profile, had a superior speed. Squadrons of these craft were posted in strategically important locations

Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda is another Anandian who has made it to the top in the Security Forces. He heads the Sri Lanka Navy, which has emerged as one of the best in the world, mainly due to its role in destroying 10 of the LTTE's weapons vessels in the deep seas and destroying Sea Tiger boats.

The Admiral and his team also devised new units and strategies to defeat the Sea Tigers. These proved to be highly successful. He is thankful to Ananda for inspiring him to join the Forces and serve the Nation. The education, discipline and moral values that Ananda inculcated would help all Anandians to succeed. Apart from the Commander himself, there are hundreds of Anandians in the Navy.

By the time Admiral Karannagoda took over the Navy, the LTTE had become a powerful outfit, having smuggled in shiploads of weapons and the strengthened its Sea Tiger wing. He studied the tactics used by foreign navies, but evolved many solutions that were unique in the Lankan context. From Mavil Aru to the final defeat of terrorism, the Navy's support was invaluable to the Army and the Air Force for their operations.

The LTTE was no simple terrorist outfit, especially with its enhanced suicide craft and higher horse-powered multiple engines.

The LTTE was enjoying free access to sea lanes for arms shipments thanks to the truce. By the time the Ceasefire was annulled, the Navy had to face the unmatched strategic potency of the LTTE. "We remodeled the Navy structure to nail down the Tigers' strength at sea. We invented three modes, innovation, improvisation and ingenuity, to lift the spirit of the Navy. We introduced the 'small boats' concept. The Navy's engineers worked day and night to breathe life to the small boats. The small boats, though low profile, had a superior speed. Squadrons of these craft were posted in strategically important locations," the Navy Commander said. These factors contributed heavily to the Navy's eventual success.

Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda assumed Command of the Sri Lanka Navy on September 1, 2005. In the 59-year history of the Sri Lanka Navy, he is the only officer to be considered to the highest seat of the Commander of the Navy straight from a Naval Area Command. He has achieved many firsts in his distinguished Naval Career. He possesses Masters in Business Administration as well as in Defence Studies. He is also a member of the Royal Institute of Navigation and the Nautical Institute of the United Kingdom.

He has commanded the four Operational Naval Commands on seven occasions - Northern, Eastern and Western Commands twice each and North Central once, for a total period spanning six years. He served as the Commandant of the Naval & Maritime Academy. He also had served as Deputy Area Commander (West), Deputy Area Commander (North) and Deputy Area Commander (East).

As a specialized Navigator, he has held numerous appointments onboard Naval ships. He counts long years at sea and his sea career culminated in 1992 onboard SLNS Wickrama with the relinquishing of command and duties as the Commander of the 7th Surveillance Command Squadron. Admiral Karannagoda was promoted to his present rank of Admiral by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, after the complete defeat of LTTE terrorism on May 18, 2009. Admiral Karannagoda has become the first ever Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy to hold the prestigious four star rank while in active Naval service.

He is a recipient of the Rana Sura Padakkam, Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya, Uttama Seva Padakkama, Republic of Sri Lanka Armed Service Medal, Sri Lanka Navy 50th Anniversary Medal, Sri Lanka Armed Service Long Service Medal, President's Inauguration Medal, 50th Independence Anniversary Commemoration Medal, North and East Operation Medal, Purna Bhumi Padakkama and Riviresa Campaign Service Medal.

Admiral Karannagoda was the first ever Director General (Operations) at Naval Headquarters. Prior to that he served as Director Naval Operations, Director Naval Projects and Plans as well as Director Naval Personnel and Training.

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